Dan Neil admits that Sunderland have rarely been able to assert their dominance when given a numerical advantage.
Sunderland were left frustrated this weekend by Swansea City in South Wales, as the home side stood resolute to any attacking power thrown their way by Tony Mowbray’s side to hold out for a goalless draw.
How did Sunderland perform overall against Swansea City?
The Black Cats went into this encounter searching for back-to-back victories for the first time in a month, having recovered from a rough patch to emerge victorious against Norwich City at the Stadium of Light prior to the long trip south-west.
It’s no surprise that with the flair possessed by the likes of Jack Clarke, Jobe Bellingham and Patrick Roberts that Mowbray’s side immediately made their intentions clear.
But for all the neat and fluid football that many across the Championship have grown accustomed to from Sunderland, the one missing ingredient in this game was the final product.
The Ukrainian striker, Nazariy Rusyn was the first to be frustrated after losing his balance and failing to hit the target, before further chances came the way of the aforementioned Clarke and Roberts, who found Carl Rushworth in inspired form.
Pierre Ekwah was the man at the centre of Charlie Patino’s dismissal, after two fouls on the Frenchman saw Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino dismissed, before Swansea were awarded a penalty completely against the run of play. Much to the relief of anyone of a red and white persuasion, Anthony Patterson denied Jamal Lowe.
More of Sunderland’s 25 attempts at goal would come in the second half, with Luke O’Nien in particular forcing an excellent reaction save from Rushworth. However, only three of those efforts came on target, hence the final score which would have left plenty scratching their heads.
What was said after Sunderland’s goalless draw with Swansea City?.
Mowbray himself admitted that while his side came up against a resolute outfit, the game could have been beyond reach prior to the sending off.
“We’re all frustrated. I think we were at our best in the first 30 minutes, 11 v 11. We should have been three up. It’s frustrating playing against 10 men.” He told the BBC.
“I’m only disappointed with the fact we didn’t put the ball in the net. The performance level was total domination but you’ve got to score.” Mowbray continued.
This was the third time across the season which Sunderland have played against ten men, with the previous two encounters resulting in wins over Queens Park Rangers and Watford, which may make Dan Neil’s post-match comments via ChronicleLive seem surprising.
“It was very frustrating,”
“I feel like there have been a lot of times when I’ve played for Sunderland and teams have gone down to ten men and we just struggle to break them down. I felt the first 30 minutes [before the sending-off] were really good, in and out of possession I thought we dominated.” Neil continued.
While Swansea may not have had the most consistent of starts overall, the Swansea.com Stadium in recent years has been a tough nut to crack for many opponents, and this was highlighted by the midfielder.
We came away taking the positives, yet we’re not taking many positives from this because we wanted the three points. It just shows how far this team has come because when we come to places like this we expect to take three points.” Neil added.
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Where does this result leave Sunderland?.
Whilst failing to capitalise on a man advantage for any side will feel like a disappointment, it is still a respectable point for Mowbray’s men away from home as they still firmly sit among the play-off picture after the first 15 games.
Championship Table (As it stands November 6th)
Preston North End
The Black Cats return next Saturday to face Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham City outfit.